Feeds

Summer debut for Judge Dredd computer smart-rifle

Exploding wireless mini-shell ammo hits round corners

Boost IT visibility and business value

Judge Dredd style array of ammo types seems to call for voice selection

The XM-25 is said by Audette and his team to weigh no more than a normal M-16 rifle with attached underbarrel grenade launcher. It's not much longer than the standard M-4 carbine.

On the down side, the current iteration of the XM-25 holds only five 25mm smartshells. Some would say that a smartgunner would be at a disadvantage in a close-up urban dustup, needing to reload too often.

Audette, however, says that combat ranges in Afghanistan - the new focus for the British and US forces - tend to be longer than those of Iraq's largely urban battlefields. He points out the XM-25's long effective range is 750m, more than twice that of existing 40mm thud-gun grenade launchers and a good bit more than the M-16 and M-4.

XM-25 in digi-cam. Credit: PEO Soldier.

Sadly the chameleon video-camouflage coating still suffers from pixellation at times.

Furthermore, the latest Army fact sheet (pdf) on the XM-25 hints at an enhanced range of ammunition in future. Baton rounds, door breachers, flash-bang stun warheads and armour-piercing (presumably mini-shaped-charge) shells are all planned. There's also an "anti personnel" round: in the US military that normally means an artillery shell which throws a cloud of smaller projectiles - either metal balls ("canister") or finned darts ("flechette" or "beehive"). The XM-25 version could function like a shotgun, simply throwing the shot or flechettes out of the end of the barrel for maximum closeup firepower, or it could use the gun's airburst capability and deliver a spread of projectiles at long range.

This Judge Dredd-like array of ammo options, combined with the XM-25's other abilities, would seem to suggest that the smartgunner might not feel too disadvantaged among his team mates with their various specialist weapons - squad-auto machine guns, marksman or sniper rifles, combat shotguns and so on. Though it might be nice if there was some handy way to switch ammo types on the fly, rather than changing magazines every time. A selector dial on the weapon, as favoured by the Judge in 2000AD*, might be more practical than the voice selection seen in the movie version.

According to the US Army, these questions will be settled in "field testing this summer", though it isn't revealed exactly where. Previous hints have suggested Iraq as the inaugural theatre, but Audette now seems to be favouring Afghanistan. ®

Bootnote

* Though Dredd still invariably felt it necessary to shout out what kind of ammunition he was using, even if it was quite a mouthful ("steel-tipped high penetration!")

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.